Friday, August 26, 2011

Week 1- Back to work report

It does feel like the first day of school- getting back to work after a brief sabbatical that is. It didn’t help that hubby is out of town for work for three full weeks. Biggest issue, I have to iron my own work shirts, all five of them.
So Sunday evening, the basics were taken care of, alarm set and woke up with butterflies.
Seriously. Day 1, I woke up much earlier than I am used to, which was fine. Well sorta anyways. By the time miss V woke up, her breakfast was prepared and on the table, her clothes were laid out and well minus my blazer, I was ready to go!
Yup. And yes, this is still Garima writing, the 'I-am-not-morning-person' Anyways, since V was having her settling in week the week prior, she was all set for her new school. She seemed excited and hugged and kissed me good bye from the door and reminded me 'Pick me up on time, okay?' Perfect. Off to work- No more get in the car drive, but walk to train station and take two trains into work.
Yes. We don’t plan to get a car in London, hell the tubes are so good, why bother with extra expenses right? I get in work, on time and the day went off well.
We met with friends the first evening, so it took the day 1 exhaustion out the window! Perfect. The rest of the week was similar. Of course being invited by friends for a stop by for dinner and tea and fuss-free dinners really helped. I did manage getting up on time, all days, having peaceful drop offs and pick ups and above all getting decent amount of time in evenings with V and having home cooked soul food with her and reading, colouring, playing, the regular stuff
Flipside, unlike Chicago, I don’t have the luxury of less commute. A new normal will have to get defined. I have to add, in ways I was happy that hubby was not around. I got used to being back to work and settling into a new routine independently.
Having said that, I want him back. I want to be able to hit the snooze button in the morning while he tends to V or be able to sleep the full night without worrying about any 'night time accidents' V might have and above all, having him back to share my day and my dinners with. I miss him and as V claims, she misses him more.

Two more weeks left till he returns. Hmm. So yes, week 1 was successful in my eyes. And how do I plan to celebrate? Since it’s a long weekend here in UK, V and I are off to Manchester to meet my cousin and family and yes, get pampered a lot. So how do you cope with transitions, what are your plans for the long weekend, whether its now (UK) or in a weeks’ time (US) or just a simple weekend (Anywhere else)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almost time.....

A lovely summer vacation draws to a close. A nice 4 month long vacation for me, V and our family. No complains. Only replenished energy to start regular life. With our move to London I had decided to take a sabbatical for a bit for us to get adjusted and assimilated with the new environment as Sumit started in his new role in a new country. I can't say we are completely settled in London, thanks to a few sore boxes around the house and more than occasional pangs of I miss Chicago. But overall, we are doing fine. Liking London and getting more active both socially and on the travel/ exploring front. Being at home for this extended period of time for the first time in my adult life, opened my eyes. A) Whatever I can do for our house in the condensed evening hours after work (also known as Daily Chores) takes the full day if one has time: implying you really don't get as much free time 'now that you are home' B) Your passions like 'cooking' take a back seat, since now first they start feeling like chores and second, you suffer from cabin fever. Big Time. C) Necessities like 'cleaning' also sadly follow the case of ' oh I can do that in the evening' and sadly the evening gets filled up with something else. Resulting in putting it off until later, 'now that I am home' I could go on and on.. Bottom line, my imaginings of a free afternoon at a cafe or a museum or at the park, 'now that I am pretty much home' is not that true. For me, I am a better house wife, and a better mom and a more balanced person (Again in my mind) when I have something concrete to keep me busy with, hmm, may be like 'work' or some other thing which forces a schedule at me. Having said that, I loved my time off. The traveling, the unexpected trip to India, week off to Hong Kong, a family trip to Scotland and oh yes the not so fun, moving, settling down, and figuring out the Brit way of things. Spending hours with V painting, doing her room and above all just being around was the best part. Plus picking up hubby from work and then exploring new city, taking walks with family and just catching up on reading (I read 8 books in less than two months!!!) were amazing. Nothing beats the relaxed nature of hours with the kiddo of course. But now V is getting ready to start her 'big girl school', Sumit is getting busier with work and business trips(!) and I am almost ready to get back to work. All this happens in less than a week. I am excited for V as she gets to meet more friends, enrolls in fun classes and gets busier. I am excited for me as I start work in a foreign country with a role that is both challenging and satisfying. Wish us luck, friends. New journey of normalcy begins. ( yes I did mean 'new normalcy' = craziness of once again juggling more than busy three calendars, ensuring hot food on plates and content kid. I am sure the renewed energy will get depleted fast enough!) but hey, let me enjoy it while I can. Vacation draws to a close, and I am for once okay with it. A quick recap of our summer vacation: London Touristy stuff
India- time spent with family
Hong Kong... the skyline... aaah!
A hike with Reindeer's in Scotland

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Scotland: Arthur's Seat

Within 48 hours of V and me returning to London after India trip, the three of us took a weeks trip to Scotland. Its now a tradition of sorts, we need a summer break, just the three of us. Within 24 hours, the trip was planned, reservations made and we were on our way..... 

A quick recap of Day 1: (More to come later)
Our first day in Edinburgh started with a hike to the top of  Arthurs' Seat. A lovely 2 mile hike to the top. After having a phenomenally heavy breakfast in our hotel, gearing up with some snacks, water and juice, the three of us headed of for our climb. We had warned V that there will be no carrying her, no stroller or help. But she seemed excited to do 'mountain climbing'.
Since we entered from near Pollock Halls, we were greeted with a series of steps, uneven steps, lots of them taking us to the top. We climbed. With a three and a half, we took a few breaks, an orange break, a juice break and the most important let's-stop-and-look-around break!
The climb was definitely not hard for adults, but kudos to miss V. At reaching the top in under an hour. At the top, the view was fantastic, you get a complete 360 degree view of the city. On one side whilst you see the Edinburg Castle, on the other side you try to spot the Stirling  castle, on one side you see the vast expanse of the 'Loch' the other side you spot the mountains flanking the city. Gorgeous.

After the climb, lying on the grass, soaking up the views and just enjoying the peace and tranquil was priceless.On one of the brochures, it was mentioned when you climb Arthurs' Seat don't brag about the experience on Facebook, just do it! Now I know why, you will be at a loss of words.....

V was wonderful on the hike, yes she did have one or two complaints, like it's too cold, her feet hurt, its windy, etc. But a nice winter jacket, her favorite juice and a banana fixed her woes. The climb down was even more fun with V as both of us hummed songs and noticed bees on flowers. In summary - hike with three year olds, they remind you of your childhood.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I was Home

No not London but what was and will always be my true home-Mumbai.
I returned after what feels like a lifetime, or half a decade more realistically. Wow! There is something about the city one grows up in, no matter where you go in life, the familiar streets, the college joints, the bus numbers, the crowds, the humidity, the food, just feels natural.

Meeting friends whom one just resumes from where left off, bliss.Having your off spring give you confused look when you say, this is my school, bliss.
Planning the trip to the coffee house just because that's where you always met your friends,  bliss.
Driving past the building where you grew up, bliss.
Seeing the revised skyline, new land marks, revisiting the history, bliss.
Boo for being Home only for three days of which being bed ridden for more than 2.5 days due to health... big Booo!!!
So though I am Vada Paav, Bhel, Chit Chats and Sizzlers deprived.... I was HOME and that's what counts.

Bottom line, being in your true home, bliss.